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Implementing a web-based oncology protocol system in Australia: evaluation of the first 3 years of operation


  • Funding: This research was funded by a Cancer Institute New South Wales Health Services Research Fellowship.

  • Conflict of interest: None.

Sallie-Anne Pearson, Level 4, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email:


Background:  EviQ is a web-based oncology protocol system launched across Australia in 2005 ( We evaluated eviQ use at the point-of-care and determined the factors impacting on its uptake and routine use in the first three years of operation.

Methods:  We conducted a suite of qualitative and quantitative studies with over 200 Australian oncology physicians, nurses and pharmacists working at treatment centres in diverse geographical locations.

Results:  EviQ was part of routine care at many hospitals; however, the way in which it was used at the point-of-care varies according to clinician roles and hospital location. We identified a range of factors impacting on eviQ uptake and routine use. Infrastructure, such as availability of point-of-care computers, and formal policies endorsing eviQ are fundamental to increasing uptake. Furthermore, the level of clinical and computer experience of end-users, the attitudes and behaviour of clinicians, endorsement and promotion strategies, and level and type of eviQ education all need to be considered and managed to ensure that the system is being used to its full potential.

Conclusion:  Our findings show that the dissemination of web-based treatment protocols does not guarantee widespread use. Organisational, environmental and clinician-specific factors play a role in uptake and utilisation. The deployment of sufficient computer infrastructure, implementation of targeted training programmes and hospital policies and investment in marketing approaches are fundamental to uptake and continued use. This study highlights the value of ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure systems like eviQ achieve their primary purpose – reducing treatment variation and improving quality of care.